Photography may seem like it’s all fun and games and camera gear. You might even be wondering: Do I need insurance as a photographer? But even this trade comes with its own innate risks, potentially leaving the door open for professional catastrophe. Let this story be a cautionary tale.
My friend Joe agreed to photograph his cousin’s wedding as a favor. He wasn’t a professional but was an avid enthusiast with some film camera training under his belt. He knew his way around his own film camera and how to capture important moments well. That is, until his cousin insisted he use her new film camera. Blindsided, Joe could only hope that the film he was shooting would turn out OK.
It didn’t. With no time to prepare, the unfamiliar camera thwarted his efforts. His cousin has never let him live this disaster down. Fortunately, Joe isn’t a professional. The service was provided for free with no contract, so the newlyweds had no grounds to retaliate.
But professional photographers know that small mishaps can lead to heartbreak. And without insurance, they can put your career at risk. Not sure where to start searching for photography insurance options? Look no further. We’ve rounded up recommendations on the types of coverage we think photographers should consider when shopping for insurance.
“Why should photographers have insurance just to snap a few pics?”
Just about every photographer has likely been forced to hear their line of work oversimplified by people who wouldn’t know an f-stop from a bus stop. Photography is often perceived as a soft skill, particularly with the rise of camera phones. It’s easy for the layperson to forget that taking high-quality photos takes tremendous skill and talent — and involves taking a lot of risks.
There are lots of things you can do to safeguard your photography business, such as promoting workplace safety and preventing theft by marking your equipment — but no amount of preparation will ever completely rid your job of risks. Business insurance is there to help protect you against the unexpected. So what insurance do photographers need? I’m glad you asked. These are a few types of policies we think photographers should consider.
Having the latest and greatest cameras, lenses, and gear can elevate your work and help you stand out from the competition. The catch? Photography equipment can be pricey, and transporting it for gigs can put it at risk. That’s why inland marine is one of the best business insurance for photographers to consider. It typically covers:
Specifically, it only usually covers these claims if they occurred away from your business premises. Maybe a tripod was damaged in transit to a gig, or your best camera was stolen during a photoshoot in a public park. Inland marine could prevent you from having to pay for replacements or repairs out of pocket.
While we recommend equipment insurance for photographers, we also recommend liability coverage. General liability’s versatility makes it a popular choice for many types of businesses, photographers included. It typically covers:
Why do photographers need liability insurance? If a client trips on your equipment during a photoshoot, or you damage an antique you’ve been hired to photograph, or even if you’ve been accused of libelous marketing, a general liability policy could save you from paying out of pocket for damages. Adding contents coverage to your policy could also cover the cost of stolen equipment.
Mistakes happen, no matter how much experience you have. That’s why we recommend professional liability insurance for photographers. This type of policy generally covers:
Professional liability may come in handy if your photos don’t turn out due to a camera malfunction, you’re accused of copying someone else’s work, or you accidentally send a client’s photos to the wrong person.
If you have employees, you may need to customize your photographer insurance selections by adding a workers’ comp policy. This type of insurance typically covers costs related to an employee’s work-related injuries or illness. It can cover:
Simply Business® can help you explore insurance options for your photography business. We’re small business insurance experts committed to offering you choice and value. Our free quote tool allows you to compare quotes from leading national carriers. Just give us a quick snapshot of your photography business, and we’ll have a quote ready in minutes.
Don’t leave your livelihood exposed to unexpected developments. Make sure your photography business is protected.
Life moves fast. A good photographer moves faster. You have only a short time to perfectly capture fleeting moments your clients want to cherish forever. Not every shot will turn out perfectly, and that’s OK. As long as you have the protection you need.
After several years of working in insurance while also freelance writing, I've finally found where the two interests intersect. I'm a writer with Simply Business with an insurance processing background and a love of research.
Kristin writes on a number of topics such as small business trends, license reciprocity, and BOP insurance.
This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer
*Harborway Insurance policies are underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Company and reinsured by Munich Re, an A+ (Superior) rated insurance carrier by AM Best. Harborway Insurance is a brand name of Harborway Insurance Agency, LLC, a licensed insurance producer in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. California license #6004217.